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Fieldwork

The research to be carried out in the field by the SOGICA team members is of paramount importance due to the current paucity of both quantitative and qualitative data. In addition to the documentary analysis of – inter alia – international, European and domestic case-law, policy documents, NGO reports, and case files, the analysis will be based on:

  • 30 non-participant contextual observations (in the form of observations of SOGI asylum judicial hearings);
  • 120 interviews (40 in each country) with policy-makers, decision-makers, members of the judiciary, legal representatives, NGO activists and SOGI asylum-seekers;
  • 12 focus-groups with SOGI asylum-seekers (at least three in each country).

Great care has been given in designing the methodology to ensure that the empirical data will be sufficiently extensive and representative to achieve SOGICA’s objectives and provide valid answers to the research questions.

SOGICA is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards in this research, in accordance with ethical codes developed within the University of Sussex, which abides by a very rigorous ethical procedure. SOGICA also complies with national ethical procedures endorsed by the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and with the European Research Council ethics regulations and codes. Approval from the University of Sussex’ Ethics Committee has been obtained in the project’s first year (certificate of approval for Ethical Review ER/NH285/1).

Since October 2017, we are calling for project participants and would be grateful if our readers would pass it on to anyone who might be interested (see fliers in English and Italian).

We are particularly keen to talk to asylum seekers or refugees claiming on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We would also like to interview people who work with or support SOGI asylum seekers and refugees, including lawyers, service providers, judges and NGO staff. Interviews will be held on a strictly confidential basis and we will give potential interviewees full information about the research to help them make up their minds about whether to take part.

The fieldwork is taking place across Europe:

  • Carmelo Danisi is leading the Italian case study and anyone who would like to contribute to the Italian case study is asked to contact Carmelo, who will be based at the University of Bologna. His email is c.danisi@sussex.ac.uk and his phone number is +39 3498052058.
  • Nina Held is carrying out the German case study from Frankfurt, where the Goethe University is kindly hosting her and she can be reached on +49 1521 8059492 and at n.held@sussex.ac.uk.
  • Moira Dustin remains at the University of Sussex and will be carrying out the UK case study. She can be reached at m.dustin@sussex.ac.uk / +44 (0)1273 873641.
  • Nuno Ferreira will be carrying out field work at European and international level, and is keen to interview stakeholders in the European Union, Council of Europe, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and activists and experts working at those levels. Nuno can be contacted on N.Ferreira@sussex.ac.uk and +44 (0)1273 678952.

More generally, in the spirit of knowledge exchange, we are keen to collaborate with research participants and stakeholders throughout the project, and we are trying to make this engagement a genuinely two-way process.

We hope that our database of resources on this website will be useful for asylum-seekers, practitioners and researchers alike. We would be happy to give presentations about the project, contribute to workshops and training, or support European SOGI, refugee and migrant organisations in other ways through our work.

If you would like to be involved, directly or indirectly, in the fieldwork research, or would like us to support your organisation, then please contact the SOGICA team.